Comet ISON Perihilion on Chanukah 5774! And other key prophecies, dates and landmarks in time for stargazers
Comet ISON was discovered on September 21, 2012 in images taken by Russian astronomers Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski of the constellation Cancer. September 21, 2012 was 5 Tishrei 5773, the fifth day of the new year of 5773, halfway between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. 5773 is the year when ISON has been visible to NASA telescopes, and beginning in August 2013 (Elul, the last month of 5773) to amateur astrologers directing their telescopes to the heavens across the globe.
Thus from its inception ISON hints at a message that traverses the 5773 – 5774 transition, which is also the 2012-2013-2014 transition, beginning at the winter solstice in 2012 and through the winter solstice of 2013, as we continue to receive energetic pulses and upgrades from the galactic center to advance us into a new era.
For much of 5773 / 2013 ISON has been traveling through astronomical Gemini, making a loop through the constellation from earth’s perspective. On June 13, NASA’s Spitzer telescope took these photos of ISON:
On July 15 (Erev Tisha B’Av), ISON was in conjunction with the Sun, just 8 degrees north of our prime luminary. On August 1st ISON moved into Cancer but due to its proximity to the sun has been hidden from view.
On August 11, ISON began rising above the northeast-east horizon at dawn.
On August 12 (6 Elul), amateur astronomer Bruce Gary of Arizona snapped a picture of ISON:
Beginning Aug. 21, ISON will be 6 degrees above the east-northeast horizon at twilight and potentially visible through a telescope. Stay tuned for more pictures!
On October 1st, ISON will come within its closest distance of Mars and may be visible through Curiosity. Mars and ISON will then move together through the sky eastward through Leo. In mid-October, ISON and Mars will be conjunct royal star Regulus. Beginning in late October, ISON is likely to be visible through binoculars or even to the naked eye.
On November 17, the day before the 19th of Kislev, and the arrival of the new revelation of the secret dimension of Torah for the year 5774, ISON flies by the super-bright stars Spica and Acturus in Virgo.
On November 24, ISON conjoins Saturn and the star Zubenelgenubi of Libra. According to Nick Anthony Fiorenza of Lunar Planner:
This is another primary event adding to the story line of ISON’s messianic journey. Synchronistically, this star marks Saturn’s exalted location in the ecliptic. It is curious timing for ISON and Saturn to conjoin here! Zubenel-genubi is the southern star of the scales of Libra, also the southern claw of the Scorpion. Its theme is about Karmic Responsibility / patterns of the past.
On November 27, ISON conjoins Dschuba (marked below by Delta), the middle star of Scorpio’s tail, a day before it turns around the sun.
Thus just before reaching Perihilion on Chanukah, ISON crosses the Scorpion’s tail.
“Three things come when one least expects it: the Messiah, a found article and a scorpion.” – Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 97a
ISON then heads for the 13th sign of the zodiac, the gateway between Scorpio and Sagittarius, Ophiuchus. On November 28, the first day of Chanukah, ISON reachest its closest approach of the sun at only 0.012 AU. The icy comet will be saturated in the sun’s heat and energy before making its closest approach to earth on its way back from the sun.
On Dec. 26 (23 Tevet), ISON makes its closest approach to Earth at 0.43 AU, about half the distance between the earth and the sun. The earth will past through the comet’s trail of cosmic dust in mid-January.
ISON is the Chanukah comet, bringing us light from a distant past:
The holiday of Hanukah is all about Light. In its essence it connects us to the concealed light of Creation – Or HaGanuz.
The first light of Creation included within it the ability to see beyond time and space. We learn from the sages and the Zohar that God decided to reduce this light in order to limit its use because if people were to have access to the higher light, they might have used it for negative purposes.
In every generation there are 36 righteous people that are special channels for the light of Creation to feed and sustain the world. The opportunity we have to come closer to this light is when we light the Chanukah candles.
For more on ISON’s messianic journey, see Lunar Planner. Astrologically, ISON tells a story:
Due to the trajectory of comet ISON through the cosmos with specific reference to the consellations, there appears a story worthy of consideration. Remember that we are told to watch the sky for signs.
From the time Comet ISON first becomes visible to the naked eye it traverses the constellations of Leo, then in November it makes its way into Virgo and into Libra then Scorpius in December. Late December it moves into Serpens, then Hercules and finally Draco before it is no longer visible with an unaided eye.
Putting this together in terms of how the Hebrew Massorah depicts these aspects of the constellations, it reads like a book.
The seed of the woman, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who shall punish the enemy, will redeem His atoning work through conflict with the enemy who assaults mans heel. His mightiness will reign victorious as He bruises His heel casting down the dragon and trodding him under His foot and then rededicating the temple of God.
The possibility that ISON will be visible in the nighttime and possibly daytime sky raises the question whether ISON is the Star of Jacob prophecized by Bilaam in the book of Numbers (thanks to Rabbi David Katz for discussion on this point):
I see it, but not now; I behold it, but not in the near future. A star shall go forth from Jacob, And a staff [shevet] shall arise from Israel
The word staff (shevet) is from the same root as the word ‘tribe’ as in ‘tribes of Israel’ and as the word for comet in modern Hebrew – shavit (שביט).
The Zohar elaborates on the connection between heavenly phenomena and the arrival of the messianic era:
Then the 7th window will open in the entire world, and its star is Kochav Yaakov, and this is the one about which Bilaam said “a star shoots forth from Yaakov,” and this star will be luminous for 40 days and 40 nights. When Melech Hamoshiach will be revealed, and all the people’s of the world will be gathered to him, then the verse will be fulfilled which states [Yeshaya 11:10]: “the root of Yishai, which stands as a banner for peoples, to him shall the nations inquire, and his peace shall be [with] honor.” – Zohar Terumah 172b
Another passage from the Zohar describes a blazing star from the East:
After forty days, when the pillar rises from earth to heaven in the eyes of the whole world and the Messiah has appeared, A STAR WILL RISE UP ON THE EAST, BLAZING IN ALL COLORS, AND SEVEN OTHER STARS WILL SURROUND THAT STAR. And they will wage war on it from all sides, three times a day for seventy days, and all the people in the world will see.
And that star will make war with them with torches of blazing fire, sparkling in every direction, and it will strike them until it swallows them every single night. And at daytime, it lets them out again. They will make the war before the whole world repeatedly for seventy days. After seventy days, that star will be hidden and the Messiah will be hidden for twelve months, the pillar of fire will return as before, the Messiah will be hidden in it, and that pillar will not be seen.
After twelve months, the Messiah will be raised inside that pillar into the firmament, where he will receive strength and the crown of kingship. And when he descends to the earth, that pillar of fire will be seen again as before, in the eyes of the whole world. Afterwards, the Messiah will appear and many nations will gather unto him, and he will make wars throughout the world. At that time, the Creator will awaken all the peoples of the world with His might, the Messiah King will be known throughout the world, and all the kings in the world will awaken and unite to wage war against him.
We watch the heavens with anticipation of the message ISON carries for our sun, our planet and our solar system. ISON’s mysterious origins, trajectory through the zodiac, and potential window of luminosity on earth make the countdown of 5773 and the beginning of 5774 an exciting time for the night sky, which since ancient times has been the inspiration board for prophets and poets aching for redemption.
The Kabbalistic month of Elul begins today, August 7th. This month takes us through the last lunar cycle of 5773 before the onset of the new energy of 5774, which culminates at the fall equinox which marks 9 months from the winter solstice that left us suspended between heaven and earth. The following are key stepping stones in working through this last layer that reveals the essential light that is to be unleashed in the monumental year of 5774:
8/9 – Gimmel Elul – the yartzeit of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the great 20th century mystic. Rav Kook was from the messianic age and lived before his time. On this day his soul now free in heaven and its powers are especially available to us in perceiving the signs of redemption in the reality that surrounds us. Psalms and studying his teachings are good today.
8/10 – Shabbat Shoftim – 4th of Elul – on Sabbath afternoon a yod points at Neptune in Pisces and births a new multidimensional center within ourselves that can coexist in realms of heaven and earth through the friction we have trudged through of mind and heart.
8/11 - three months to 11/11. In the morning (11am PST), Saturn at 5 Scorpio squares Mercury at 5 Leo. The gatekeeper helps our minds and heart cultivate patience that knows all things come in good time.
8/13 Pluto quincunx Mercury at 9 degrees. Leo and Capricorn relationship is tested. Mercury in Leo brings a fiery mind to everything, but it must first take a seat at the table of the elders. Then its fire can be as potent and everlasting as only Mercury and Pluto can do. This directive about taming fiery Merucry with the power of the ages lasts throughout the month.
8/16 – Friday; the 10th of Elul – Jupiter trine north node. An expansive, visionary leap towards our life purpose appears on this day and throughout Shabbat. We are led to our personal Land of Israel, the land that G-d has hinted he will show us, the land that is our inheritance.
8/19 – the 13th of Elul, alluding to the 13 principles of compassion that envelop this month. Venus quincunx Neptune at 4 degrees (Libra; Pisces). In time, going deeper will bring about a greater harmony.
8/21 – full moon, the 15th of Elul. One month until the feast of Tabernacles and the fall equinox. Uranus squares Jupiter at 12 degrees Aries, Cancer. The soul feels the pain of the separation of principles that posits freedom and creativity against security and the womb, and knows that at their source the two are one. The wounded healer will glean deep lessons.
8/24- the 18th of Elul, the birthday of the Ba’al Shem Tov and the author of the Tanya, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. Also the day of the revelation of the Ba’al Shem Tov. A day of the start of the revelation of one’s inner godliness. On this day the oppression of the miracle worker and the sacred priestess is in abeyance and a new revelation to the inner sphere that manifests in the outer sphere takes place. For more on Chai Elul see here.
8/25 – The second star of David between the planets encompasses the earth, this time along with a grand cardinal cross between Jupiter, Venus, Pluto and Uranus. This is the climax of this year’s energy and out of it the peaks of the new year will be born.
8/27 – Mars moves into Leo. The energy of 5773 will finish off with a bang.
8/31 – Shabbat Nitzavim/Vayelech – On this day on the Kabbalistic calendar, the world was created. New creative energy pulsates throughout creation and it is literally reborn. Transformation potential is huge. What is yearned for during this week will be birthed during the month of Tishrei which begins on September 4th at sunset. If we make the most of what is on our plate, utilizing study and prayer, we can ascend to become divine co-creators which has always been our destiny (with the grace of Hashem).
9/2 – Neptune quincunx Mars (Pisces / Leo) – 27th of Elul – the primordial separation of water and fire occurred on this day. During the messianic era the elements will no longer be in battle but will be united in their common source as they are in heaven. May he who makes peace above make peace below.
9/4 Rosh Hashana – the 1st of Tishrei begins at sunset. Enter this space like a newborn, and come out a new being. The world is literally born anew in these 48 hours. Believe in the power of transformation and the divine ear. It is traditional to recite the entire book of Psalms and to refrain from unnecessary chatter. Remember, you are given the experiences you are needed for these milestones in time. Look in the sky for the new crescent. As the moon is renewed, so will you. Your consciousness creates the space for your new beginning. Hashem has been and is at your side all along.
Happy 5774 – May you be inscribed in the Book of Life – and step into the new revelation of 5774 – a revelation birthed out of the contrasts & experiences of this last climactic month of 5773 – the month that takes us through the last subconscious layer that shields the great light of last winter solstice, we are preparing to assimilate it all, to know G-d as we truly are, to be seen as we truly are, and each moment of light and shade is our evolutionary homework: we call AYEKAH or where are you? in the shade, and draw a bit of light down, and praise in the light, connecting light and darkness, until enough agents have remembered themselves and reached a threshold of belief in the miracle of existence that the everlasting light of the soul will have its day to shine forth as bright as the light of creation, as bright as the candles of channukah.
New moon at 2pm PST Monday afternoon ~ the Kabbalistic month of Elul (Virgo) begins tonight!
The new moon also features the closening Jupiter-Pluto opposition that bridges the gate of man and gate of God. Our transformation in a way that brings other realms down to earth is nurtured by our faith in moments of unclarity in this realm. The bridge between realms climaxes on Wednesday.
Next weekend the balance-seeking, heart-centered Libra moon and the fiery Mercury mind form a yod (finger of God) with Neptune in Pisces. A new inner spiritual dimension may be revealed that bridges mind and heart and allows one to swim along with God in the world. This will manifest in the house where Neptune is found in our natal charts.
Since August 31st, we have been in the Hebrew month of Elul, which corresponds to the traditional Zodiac sign of Virgo. In Kabbalistic astrology, Virgo is called “betula”, the biblical word for virgin. What is the deeper meaning of the betula? The betula signifies wholeness, purity, that which is unblemished and unmarred, who manages to stay pure in any situation. She is powerful feminine energy, and she hovers close to God, even above the saints. Inside each of us there is a point at which we are complete genuine, with no effort, a point at which we can relate to God out of our own essence, a place from which we can channel divine power, where we can create, bless and sanctify.
What does it really mean to be genuine? Nearly every part of our lives demands from us that we put on some mask to navigate complex relationships and systems, most of which are based on incessant cost-benefit analysis and advancement of ego. We know no other way because we take this as the nature of this world. And yet right beneath the layer that we usually act out of is a force of uniqueness and spontaneity that is our God-given heritage. Thank God we all have some places in our life that we can act out of our essence, out of our genuine self, that which knows no other way than to simply be itself, because it is a ray of the Divine that knows only how to shine.
This month is a time for us to take special time on our own, with our loved ones and with God to let ourselves believe that there is a place within us that has never taken a blow from this world, that is whole and pure…like a Virgin. With this freshness and tenderness, we can unleash great sources of healing, inspiration and optimism from within our own beings, which will be available to us year-round. It is a month for believing in our divine potential, and for turning belief, drop-by-drop into a lived reality. There is no effort in accessing the Betula, because she is already there, eager to be revealed and noticed, if only for a moment, before she blushes, and refuses to take on any self-awareness, preferring only to dive into the river of life itself.
Famous Virgos include: Roald Dahl, Michael Jackson, D.H. Lawrence, Mother Teresa
Please share your betula-virgin experiences, intentions dreams this month, if you wish!